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Arch Surg. 2003 Jul;138(7):801-6.

Incidence of silicone breast implant rupture.

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  • 1Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark.



The incidence of silicone breast implant rupture varies with implantation time and type of implant.


To measure the incidence of implant rupture by repeated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) among women with silicone breast implants.


In 1999, 271 women who had received breast implants at least 3 years before, and who were randomly chosen from a larger cohort of women with cosmetic breast implants, underwent a baseline MRI. A second MRI was performed in 2001; 317 silicone implants (in 186 women) that were intact at the baseline MRI (n = 280) or were intact at baseline but removed before the second MRI (n = 37) were included in the rupture incidence analyses.


Implants were diagnosed with definite or possible rupture. Crude and implant age-adjusted incidence rates were calculated, and implant survival was estimated based on the observed rupture rates.


We found 33 definite ruptures (10%) and 23 possible ruptures (7%) during the 2-year period. The overall rupture incidence rate for definite ruptures was 5.3 ruptures/100 implants per year (95% confidence interval, 4.0-7.0). The rupture rate increased significantly with increasing implant age. Double-lumen implants were associated with substantially lower rupture risk than single-lumen implants. For modern implants intact 3 years after implantation, we estimated rupture-free survival of 98% at 5 years and 83% to 85% at 10 years.


The risk of implant rupture increases with implant age. A minimum of 15% of modern implants can be expected to rupture between the third and tenth year after implantation.

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